New Car Seat Guidelines: Your Reactions

Yesterday’s news about new recommendations for car seat safety and positioning sparked quite a vehement debate among our readers and Facebook followers. The new recommendations, issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic  Safety Administration, call for children to remain in rear-facing car seats until age two and in booster seats until they are 4’9’’, which would be around age 12.

Many of you voiced your opposition to the new guidelines, which are recommendations and not laws or regulations.

“What a headache,” Jen Shaffer wrote on the Parents magazine Facebook wall. “You know, prior to 1962 car seats didn’t exist…yet generations of babies somehow miraculously survived infancy.”

Others were more specific in their complaints, wondering whether your kids would even fit in rear-facing seats that long, or in boosters until they are in their tweens.

“There is no way my son is going to be rear facing until he is 2! My son now is 9.5months [and is] 32 inches and 23.5 lbs! He is already way too big for his current rear facing carseat. His legs are bunched. I am planning on getting a front facing within the next few weeks,” writes rydersmommy in a comment on GoodyBlog.

Others worried about what they found to be the higher cost of car seats for bigger kids.

“Most parents CANNOT afford rear facing car seats with the higher weight limits in them,” Jessica wrote on GoodyBlog. “Most kids are over the weight limit / height limit before the age of two on the cheaper car seats. Are everyone that can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a new car seat going to get one for free?”

Many others wrote defending the new rules, and emphasizing that safety must come before comfort.

“How can you put a price or a ‘convenience’ on your child’s life?! They aren’t just pulling this out of the air. There has been testing, testing, testing and more testing and the statistics PROVE that rear facing is so much safer than forward facing!” Danielle Hellus posted on our Facebook wall.

Some reminded the naysayers that in the name of safety we make our children do things that might be uncomfortable everyday.

“Do you make your little child wear a helmet when he rides his bike? I bet he says that’s uncomfortable, but you MAKE HIM because it’s his brain and LIFE we are talking about. Same with rear-facing,” Catherine Garrity posted on Facebook.

Others were more graphic.

“If you were involved in a wreck that was so violent it broke the legs of your rear facing child, that same accident would likely kill or SEVERELY injure a forward facing child. Broken leg–cast it, broken neck—casket,” Jayna Harness Balcer posted on Facebook.

What do you think? Continue the debate below.

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  1. by kthiruselvam

    On March 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    LOOK AROUND YOU at front seat parent seating the infant on their laps and propped against the dash board. Imagine what happens during a sudden brake stop situation.
    Have not children been flung through wind screens?
    Negligence in care of children seated within vehicles, is exceedingly high. How do I know this.
    Observe car doors, and you can see that the car lock proof button in the raised position and not pushed in to lock the car doors. So what, you ask?
    Parents or other front seat occupants are busy talking? Children have been known to open doors of car in motion and fall out.
    Car Safety needs regular reminding, caution and smart driving.

  2. by adrienne

    On March 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    There are more cars on the road and more cars per family now than there were in our childhoods and the roads haven’t grown proportionally. Less freight is hauled by rail and more by truck.

    Our roadways are more congested, have more minor and elderly drivers and more freight competing with passenger transit. Cars range greatly in size and weight (Mini to Hummer). Despite the increased number of accidents, speed limits have been rising nationally.

    Driving is the most dangerous regular activity most Americans regularly undertake, yet we balk at adaptive safety equipment and the inconvenience of using it properly.

    Car seat manufacturers haven’t had much financial incentive to produce larger capacity rear-facing seats as parents haven’t sought them. Public demand generates market supply and the resulting competition lowers costs.

  3. by Sarah

    On March 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I saw a convertible car seat that stays rear facing to 40 lbs for only $44. Besides that, the safe kids organization often provides free or reduced price car seats for families in need. There are resources available for families to be able to afford the proper car seat.

    My issue is with older vehicles. There needs to be some way to have latch anchor and tether systems installed in older vehicles. It is the seat belt that concerns me. How do you know the seat belt is going to work in a 13 year old vehicle until you have been in an accident? I also think it is disturbing that many people have 1+ year olds in high back booster seats! There should be more regulations on keeping the 1-4 year old crowd in harnessed seats.

    Oh, and I can’t believe somebody is considering moving their 10 month old to a forward facing seat just because they have grown out of their current rear facing seat. Get a convertible car seat and keep him in there rear facing!!

  4. by Ronda

    On March 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    The only problem I have is, there is no way my child would fit comfortably rear facing in a convertable carseat(which he has) or any other kind. He has been turned around since he was one and I would say by the time he was 18 months he would not have fit. I don’t mind leaving my little man turned around, but he would be to tall for that, and he isn’t that tall.

  5. by Mel

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Extended rear facing is SO MUCH SAFER! Kids are super flexible and can be rear facing without any discomfort. Just because your child has been safe while forward facing doesnt mean its the safest way to be. My daughter is nearly 3 and just hitting her limits of ERF. She never complains about being rear facing because I have never given her the choice. If she needs something I pull over or sit in the back when my husband drives.

  6. by Sara

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I think that the recommendations would be more useful to me if they went by weight, and not age. Two years old rear facing and 13 years old in a booster mean nothing to me. I want to see weights and heights. I think that this all loses credibility because of that. I also agree with previous commenters that the seats out there now are not affordable, and many are so uncomfortable that it will prevent me from taking my child to the corner store to buy food, even. The seats have to improve and become more affordable, of no one’s going to comply with this.
    Driving in a car is dangerous, bottom line. It’s a risk we take because we have to. Making it more difficult for parents to comply with the AAP is just going to make more parents ignore them all together.

  7. by Amygraves21

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    My son was 10 months and 16lbs when we turned him to forward facing. He is a long boy and his knees were bent like he was in a chair while rear facing. we waited as long as he can but I really don’t care about the “requirements”, we have tried several different convertable carseats and they are all the same result. I refuse to be the reason he has leg problems as he gets older. Also to the person(s) saying things along the line of Get a convertible car seat and keep them rear facing! not everyone has the $$$$$ to do so now

  8. by A'Driane Dudley

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Ok here’s a thought-My mother is 4’9….should she be in a booster seat? Just curious….

  9. by Nikki

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Something I find interesting is that Texas passed a law that says the child must be rear facing until age two. I have a friend who lives in Dallas that was searching frantically for a larger rear facing seat. During that process we learned that in Europe it is required that they be rear facing for even longer. I think it was up to four years old. And so I started reading about that and found that even though the child was rear facing and their legs were not dangling over the end of the seat, they were comfortable. Why? Because they didn’t know any different. During that research I came to the conclusion that I want to have my baby rear facing for longer than the 1 year. But I’m having the problem of finding a rear facing seat that goes up to a sufficient weight and height (she’s only 7 months and almost out of her original rear facing seat by weight). This was a problem that my friend had too. Most American companies simply don’t make them. But the European companies have tons. Hopefully this new study will get the American companies started on manufacturing the rear facing seats for older children!

  10. by Mommy2Keanna

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Wow at the end of the day I want our daughter to be safe she may be mad as a tween to be in a booster seat I will tell her we love her it’s for her safety I agree do you want to see a casket or do you want your baby to grow up to be the adult that you envision each day when your with your baby Safety first for our 21st century girl

  11. by Samantha Mabe

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I think it is bull I am all about keeping my children safe and I will but not at the risk of making them uncomfortable and miserable because their legs are all bunched up for hours at times. I think the “people” that make these guide lines should really think about things better. they would not like if they had to sit folded up in the car….As for the booster seat guidelines I like there comes a point when you are just to old or to big.

  12. by Amy B

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    As a emt, I have seen my share of accidents involving small children as well as a little older ones. Car seats save lives! (as long as installed properly and the child is secured properly). Before this stuff even came out, I had planned on my 7 year old being in a booster till at least 10. My baby who just turned one will be rear facing until his seat no longer will support him rear facing. Rear facing is actually the safest position for a baby. All I can say is it is better to be safe then sorry. I pray for the families who have lost there baby’s just because they were miss informed or lazy or the child don’t want to. Who is the parent!

  13. by Jessica

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Ronda, your child is not too tall to be rear facing, their legs are intended to go over the sides of the convertible car seats when rear facing. It may look uncomfortable to you, but likely your child wouldn’t notice any difference. And it’s so much safer! It shocks me that this has been met with ANY parent resistance! I’ve known about this for years and to me its common sense. Anyone who disagrees should google The Kyle David Miller Foundation and watch the video on YouTube!

  14. by wetaf

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I agree with the mother who said height/weight limits should be required, not age limits. I have 2 sons who are very tall, and are not yet 12. Why would they need a car seat? If you are a responsible parent, who conveys the danger of cars to one’s children, I think until age 7 or 8 is a proper age limit for car seats. Until age 12 is extreme, unless that child is way under height/weight limits!

  15. by Andrea

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I believe its a great idea, I kept my three year old rear facing until she was 2 even tho her legs did have to crunch up a little. She is still in a five point harness seat and will b until she outgrows the limit on her graco natalius seat. Itss way safer and much easier to fix a broken leg or hip then a neck. I have another little one the way and she too will be rear facing until she is 2 or maybe even longer depending on her size and weight.

  16. by Moonsong

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    my son will be 3 in july, and we have had ppl think he’s a 5 yr old cause of his size. He’s been in a forward facing seat since he was a year, because he simply would not fit in any rearfacing seats we could find! As it is, he’s almost too big, now for the convertible car seat he’s in…. we’ve expanded it as far as it is designed for, yet it’s a bit of a struggle to get him fastened into the harness.

    I was searching for the guidelines to see when we could legally switch to the booster seat for him… now…..I just dont’ know…

  17. by Chrystal Steffen

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Before everyone goes crazy – this is a new recommendation… not a new LAW. The important thing is that there is information out there to educate parents. I am a certified safety seat installer.. so I have seen a large number of seats, cars and kids. All of them are unique in their situation. Some people cannot afford new seats- and it is NOT that easy to get a free or cheap seat. Not all kids are built the same… Neither are cars. Some seats do not fit the child or the car correctly, but you have to make the best with what you have. I turned my first two children around to forward facing at 1 yr. – my third may now be rear facing a little longer.
    I can also say that in the years I have been installing I have never once seen a 1 yr old in a high back booster. But I have seen many in convertible seats which look similar. We are now looking into buying a new booster for our four year old because I want him in a high back for as long as possible. It is EXPENSIVE to get a new booster seat. Especially since we need to get three seats into a backseat, now. We have to buy a more expensive narrower seat to make them all fit. That is a luxury to be able to buy a new seat/booster. Not everyone can afford that. But again I will say – the new AAP guidelines are just that – GUIDELINES. They say the risk of injury and extent of injuries is lower- That is a proven fact. Does everyone want the best for their children- of course. Does everyone try to do the best they can for their children- I would like to think so. No one will be getting cited by the police for turning their child around to face forward before they have turned 2 or before they have reached the weight limit for their particular seat. The information has been supplied to you- do with it what you choose.

  18. by Terri

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I have Graco65 and they go to 40 pds rear boys r 2 1/2 and r still rear facing..they do not know any different.

  19. by Lo'sMomma

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    My biggest complaint isn’t that my son’s legs would be cramped (which they would) or that he would continue to HATE riding in the car (which he also would), it is the fact that the main goal of this new recommendation is to reduce automobile fatalities in infancy. YET, they will let any Joe Shmoe off the street install their child’s car seat incorrectly. Maybe if it was a federal requirement to have car seat installation inspected and checked regularly, we wouldn’t have so many issues with this. So many parents are completely ignorant to how to install the infant seats, and just assume it’s in fine instead of having it checked. It’s ludicrous, especially when any fire station in the country will properly install your safety seat for you. C’mon PEOPLE!!!

  20. by Danielle Hellus

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    If car seats weren’t meant to be used to rear face to their minimum height and weight limits they wouldn’t make them. It’s simple-rear facing is safer than forward facing. A child’s bones and connective tissue are immature and being in a crash while forward facing creates an enormous amount of force on the child’s neck and spine. Parent’s just need to do a little research-those who make excuses or say it’s stupid are only trying to make themselves feel less guilty. :)

  21. by mv

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I am not as concern with the infant rule…if you can put htem rear facing it is safer, as long as you have a seat that will hold them properly. I also have a mom that is shorter than the 4’9″ recommenation… should she use a booster seat to drive! there is a point as our children get older that life takes over. I am a safety nut and would not think of putting my 11 year old in a booster seat. Yes maybe it is safer…so would buying a Hummer. Are you going to require that every one buy and own a safer car! there is a point…enough is enough!

  22. by Britney

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Your kid will not be uncomfortable rear facing. Their legs aren’t bunched up. Legs bend, sitting with your legs propped up or even crossed is actually more comfortable than dangling down. My daughter was rear facing until she was almost two, when she got to tall for her seat. I decided to buy a Graco Nautilus for her so she could sit in it until she was too big for it, however old that may be. It is ridiculous to say that they wont like to be rear facing, or their legs are scrunched up so you don’t like it. Them having their legs crossed while in the car is a lot better than them being internally decapitated in a crash. Do your research and watch videos, you will see the benefits outweigh the risks. Some people are ignorant and turn their kids around before they are even one! If they outgrow their infant carrier, buy a convertible seat. Pay attention and do your research before you have your baby.

  23. by Danielle Hellus

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    ^I meant *maximum* height and weight limits, not minimum.

  24. by Sandrea

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    To echo the question someone else asked, I myself (29 years old) am only 4’9″…should I be in a booster seat?

  25. by Danielle Hellus

    On March 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Sandrea, as the 4’9″ is only a recommendation it depends on how the child fits with a seat belt only. If the child can sit in a seat belt with it positioned properly 100% of the time then they are safe. If it’s not positioned properly it can cause fatal injuries. While no one is going to make you use a booster seat, if the seat belt doesn’t fit you properly then it has the same effect as it would on a child.

  26. by Crystal

    On March 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    All of the reasons that are listed to not rear face are ignorant. Your child is NOT uncomfortable rear facing, they are much more flexible than an adult having their legs folded or their knees bent doesn’t bother them. Have you ever looked at a child sleeping at all? What’s uncomfortable for you, is NOT for them.

    Extended rear facing seats are not that expensive. You can find them on for I think 120. It will last them from infancy until they are ready for a booster. Get your child out of a damn bucket and put them into a real seat, your child’s life and safety is much more important than convience or money.

    I was in an accident recently, Feb 2011, and had I listened to all of those uninformed parents and turned my 13 month old baby around, she would have suffered serious injuries. My car had 5300 dollars worth of damaged, her injuries (being scared), were nothing more than what hugs and kisses from mommy and daddy could cure. She was safe. I suffered from severe whiplash and I’m still in physical thearpy and NOT getting better. I couldn’t imagine putting my baby through this, her neck is so much weaker than my own and her head much larger (in proportion to her body) than mine.

    What’s more inconvenient, having to haul your child into a RF car seat for as long as possible, or by chance getting into a major accident and having your child killed, severely injured, or paralyzed. I’m sure taking care of a child who cant walk or has suffer brain injury so bad that they have none of them selves left in them is so much easier.

    Give me a break. I’d rather rear face and keep her safe than walk around as a parent to a dead baby.

    Parent resistance on this astounds me. Its your child’s safety. You wear condoms to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies, and STDs, just in case. You wear helmets on job sites, just in cases. Closed toed shoes in factories, on farms, in parks… JUST IN CASE. Why wouldn’t you want to do this for your child, JUST IN CASE.

    Don’t think being in an accident will never happen to you. You cannot and do not control the other millions of drivers out there. the drunk drivers, the older drivers that cannot see and have slow reaction times, and those millions of drivers that are distracted by kids, splices, Phone called, texting, tv, navigation systems…

    You know better, the child doesn’t. It is your job to protect them.

  27. by Kelli Moss

    On March 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Kids are way too long to sit backwards for 2 years. And 4′ 9″, seriously, the shoulder strap would be way too low, how stupid!!!

  28. by Diane

    On March 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Here is a link to a video that explains EVERYTHING!!! Do your research people. The excuses I have read through quickly can be explained in this video or by doing your own research. That is what I did!!!!

    My 20 month old is happily ERF and will do so until she outgrows her seat. My goal is ERF to 4 yrs old for her like they already do in Sweden!!!!

    We SAVED up for her seat!!!!!! It is a Radian XTSL. My son is 11 and still in a backless booster because he does not pass the 5 step test (which is explained in the video as well). His seat cost about $20!!!!!

    Car accidents are the NUMBER ONE killer of children in the USA!!! That is why these guidelines are being changed and I hope it becomes law soon!!!!

  29. by Andrea

    On March 22, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I’m not so worried about the guidelines. I’m more worried about getting my kids out incase of emergency. If my little one is turned around not facing me and the car seat doesn’t just pop out (like the infant car seats) then how in the world am i going to crawl back there to let her out. At least when she is forward facing I have one less obstacle to over come.

    I personally would like to see a carseat w/ an emergency release on it. That way in case of a water accident or fire incident, etc. I could get my child out quickly enough to have a chance to save her.

  30. by Crystal

    On March 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Sorry about typos… Lovely auto correct does wonders ;)

    Also they give ages because of bone development. A 20 pound, 30 inch 10 month old is no stronger than a 15 pound, 28 inch 10 month old. Their joints and bones are just not developed enough to withstand the effect of a crash. It’s not rocket science!

  31. by WyattsMommy

    On March 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    my son is 6 months old and i had to move him from his infant carrier to a convertable seat when he was 4 months old because he outgrew his carrier, there is no way he will fit in his seat rear facing until 2. he is already 23 lbs and almost 30 inches tall. i understand why they have given these new guildlines but i also agree they should go by a height and weight limit.

  32. by Beckamax

    On March 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I have seen new 5 point harness booster carseats with a max weight of 100 pounds. If I had known they were around, I would have both my girls who are 5 and 6 in them. 5 point is safer then just a 3 point seat belt even with a booster seat. In British Columbia , Canada the law is that you have to be in a booster until 8 or 4’9. which ever comes first. And for adults who are less then 5 feet tall, they do have “booster” seats made for short adults to make driving safer for them as well. Good article to keep you informed. :-)

  33. by Diane

    On March 22, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    I am sorry but if your child isn’t properly restrained there is a good chance they will be ejected from the car and you won’t have to worry about getting them out. For example a child too small/young to only use a seatbelt.

    I have used my seat RF in a Hyundai Tuscon, Saturn sedan and a Ford Fiesta! It is not harder to buckle your child if they are RF versus FF. Also using the LATCH or the seatbelt RF or FF is still only ONE button to press to release the seat. RF use really isn’t more complicated yet it is so much safer!!

    I just can’t understand why people are so against this. I wonder if this is how it was back when seat belts were introduced yet look at all of the lives they saved!!

  34. by Becca

    On March 23, 2011 at 12:15 am

    It’s not accurate for people to claim “your child won’t be uncomfortable.” How do you know? Just as every adult is different, so is every child. Now I want to keep my daughter safe as much as I am able, but we can’t afford to buy the super deluxe seats that will accommodate her as she will quickly grow out of the rear facing seats. Government funding programs won’t apply to us either because “we make too much money.” So that puts middle class parents at a disadvantage and evidently we don’t care about our child’s safety because we would rather they have a roof over their heads and food in their stomach. Don’t judge people because it’s not what you would do. It wouldn’t work for carpooling families either…or do you expect us to also buy an extra booster seat when we are hard pressed to afford one as it is?

  35. by hippomama

    On March 23, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I think they will just keep changing the laws until the driver is still in a car seat. I thought boosters were just suppose to raise the child up so the seat belt fit them better. If the child fits in the seat fine with the seat belt in the correct position then what is the difference. My best friend is now 40 and according to this proposed law she should still be in a booster. I would hate to be the smaller teenager being dropped off at school in a car seat.

  36. by Jessica

    On March 23, 2011 at 12:47 am

    My son sat RF until he was 2 years old. He is a big kid–tall and heavy. His legs were never an issue. The most difficult part was getting him into the seat before he was able to climb in himself. I will do this again for our next baby because it is so much safer. Our Britax convertible seat went to 35 lbs RF and that was more than enough to get him to 2 years. He is just now 35 lbs at 2.5 years. This Britax seat fits him well and was a great investment. RF is a big deal now and there are lots of choices out there for convertible seats.

  37. by amy brown

    On March 23, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Adrienne really says it best. I don’t like the idea of rear-facing until age 2, but increased demand will make better seats that are more comfortable, and ultimately less expensive.

  38. by Beth

    On March 23, 2011 at 1:24 am

    I kept my oldest rear facing until she was almost 2. My twins who are 9 months I will do the same. Oldest daughter was in a 5 pt harness until kindergarten then moved her to a booster. Now she is 9 and sits in the middle of the backseat between her brother and sister and uses the seatbelt. If we followed strictly the guidelines or weightlimits of carseats she would still be in a 5 point harness because she is almost 10 and just 49 lbs. I agree that safty is the number 1 concern but a 10 year old in a 5 pt harness? really?

  39. by Myssi

    On March 23, 2011 at 2:17 am

    They can say all of this because they test things using dummies, not real kids fussing in the back seat kicking and pushing their feet against the seat because they don’t have room to move. Meanwhile the person driving the vehicle is reaching their limit of having to listen to it so they start thinking about doing their own crash test with poles and walls around them. Let alone the teen in the back seat dying of embarassment from being in a booster seat. HA! I HAVE a 2 y/o and a 13 y/o, this all makes me laugh when I sit and imagine it. Of course my teen possessed that height years ago so I imagine him at the height he was when he was 12, 5’7″, sitting in a booster…LOL!!!!! Good luck enforcing either one if they ever become law and not just recommendations.

  40. by lynn

    On March 23, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Okay so on the safety side can someone defending these guidlines stop and tell me where nad how exactly it is safe for a child to be sitting in a rear facing seat with their legs all bunched up.The whole point in the read facing seats was if the car was in a bad wreck and smashed like an accordion the child would be in a shell so to speak. now if the child is sitting there with their legs bunched up and knees are up on the edges of the seat isn’t it likely to do a hell of a lot more damage. I think so. I think these new guidelines are crap. Good thing they’re guidelines right.

  41. by bridget

    On March 23, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Ok so you’re telling me that my son who is turning 3 today, that is 45″ tall and weighs 47.5 lbs would have had to remain rear facing until today???? Yeah right. Some kids just don’t fit in the guidelines. Maybe its not the carseats that need to be redone. Maybe they need to make turnable seats in the fancy new mini vans. Kinda like the old station wagon. What kid didn’t love riding back there?

  42. by Haley

    On March 23, 2011 at 7:18 am

    This is hilarious….my ex mother-in-law is 4’9″. So, under these guidelines, she should be in the backseat and in a booster seat?!? LOL

    This is the same APA that has said I should NEVER let my child with severe acid reflux sleep on his tummy. The same APA that says that my child, who is so congested that snot is literally running out of the tubes in his ears, shouldn’t ever have a decongestant.

    Bottom line, I’m going to do what 1) my doctor says and 2) I feel most comfortable with.

    And anyone who implies that I am neglectful or causing my 30lb 18-month-old great and undue harm b/c he’s front facing can…well…you know what you can put where.

  43. by Michelle

    On March 23, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Im all for rear facing car seats my son is 8 months old and in a convertable carseat still rear facing. i was reading and it said the want them rear facing because there necks arnt strong enough to withstand the impact from a car crash forward facing but wouldnt it be the same thing if you were rearended with a rear facing car seat.

  44. by kristen

    On March 23, 2011 at 7:53 am

    For those asking about adults shorter than 4′ 9″- they actually would benefit from a booster because of the airbags is modern cars. Most cars have seat belts with adjustable heights but airbags are not designed for people below a certain height. And this rear facing recommendation is actually old they just revised it. I got my daughter’s car seats at a discounted price during Babies R Us’ trade-in. It was worth the extra money to keep her safe. As for boosters, older kids might not think they are cool but do you think severe neck injuries from a poorly fitting seat belt are cool?

  45. by Becky

    On March 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

    wow, I am astonished at the responses from some of the parents. It’s not about comfort, it’s about saving your child’s life!!!! get a clue…is your child’s comfort zone more important than their safety?? I am going to put safety first, God (who made us perfectly) made our legs to bend at the knee for a reason, your child would survive a little discomfort but could you survive knowing you didn’t follow the guidelines set forth to protect your child if something were to happen? I kept my five yr old in a five point harness until she was 4, she is now in a high back booster and using the car’s seat belt, she will remain there until she taller than the recommendations because I want my child to be alive and well! sheesh, some of you act like this is just a major deal…recommendations do tend to become law so you may as well get over it!

  46. by Julie Jeffress

    On March 23, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I totally understand that its for safety but I just got my son in a new front facing car seat it does convert to rear facing but I don’t want my sons legs all squished up. My older son is all most 4’9 and he is only 9 and what if your child is chunkier how will they fit in a boaster seat. I get it, its for safety but isnt the comfort and the way they fit into the car seat can be a safety issue as well?

  47. by MomAnon

    On March 23, 2011 at 11:02 am

    My issue isn’t with children being rear facing until 2 so much. I agree that the cost of seats would be more and that more babies will ride around uncomfortable and unsafe if parents allow them to remain in infant carriers exceeding the weight limits.

    My biggest problem is with 8-12 yo riding in a booster seat. Rediculous! If your legs can over hang the seat and your can put on a belt, you don’t need a booster seat. Can you imagine? Riding in a baby seat that long?! And they’re not safe- they slide around on the seats all the time!

  48. by Megan

    On March 23, 2011 at 11:06 am

    It is not very likely that a car would be crunched up so badly that a child rear facing in the backseat would be trapped in the seat. It is likely though, that in a front end accident (the most common kind) their neck would snap far forward enough while forward facing to cause severe or even fatal injuries. It happens all the time, reasearch it yourself. And the concern about their legs? I’m a nurse and I can tell you, without a doubt that a broken leg is much easier to recover from than a spinal injury, which many times causes problems for the rest of someone’s life (that is, if they survive it at all). I have these types of patients all the time, and often they WERE injured in car accidents…

    That being said, there are valid concerns about cost. But we are a society that will pay $5 a day for coffee and waste money on eating out, but many of those same people “can’t afford” to spend money on a seat for their child. I know that isn’t everyone, but we all know they’re out there. It’s not ideal to have a seat with an unknown accident history, but you can get a used, non-expired seat for a reasonable price.

    It’s your child, do with the information what you wish, but these guidelines weren’t pulled out of thin air, so don’t be ignorant and deny their validity simply because it would be inconvenient for you to comply with them. Countries like Sweden have been implementing rear facing laws to age 4, and their children have much better outcomes when in accidents. We drive faster, on much more congested roads in more compact squishy cars, with way more distracted drivers than in the 60s and 70s, so the “we didn’t do this back in the day and we all survived” argument isn’t even valid.

  49. by cyndii

    On March 23, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Way to say it, Becky! (March 23 at 9:03)
    Parenting is an awesome responsibility and privilege. There’s a reason “better safe than sorry” is an enduring phrase. To pick and choose if or which laws/rules we follow as adults and parents sets the example for the tots who soon grow into school-agers and teenagers who will surely also want to pick and choose if/what rules or laws they will abide by. Being consistent and setting examples worth following is a big part of the job we have as moms and dads.

  50. by maria

    On March 23, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Salty first has a great seat. Its big enough for my 7yr old to sit in it if she had to. The reason kids need to be. 4 foot 9, is because of where the seatbelt crosses their body. It goes over their stomach instead of their hips. In an accident, it could cause internal bleeding or death. The booster seat causes the seatbelt to go in the right place, holding the child, not killing them. My oldest is 7, almost 8. She will stay in a booster for as long as it takes. The reason they go by age for some seats is because of the child’s ability to have some control over their body. A child who’s 4 or older can support their body better than a younger child. Please do EVERYTHING you can to keep your child safe. If they are uncomfortable, you can tell them sorry but its for your safety. If you change seats too soon and they are killed, what do you say?

  51. by Kim

    On March 23, 2011 at 11:45 am

    My son is 15 months and there’s no way we could have kept him rear facing now. At 11 months, he was turned front facing, because his legs were bunched up and he’d freak out anytime we put him in his carseat as a result. We have the cheapest convertable carseat we could afford for our son, and it still didn’t make any difference with his legs. My daughter we waited until she was closer to 13 months, but she was smaller than her brother. The regulations need to go by weight and height, because not every 2 year old is the same height and weight. Age should just be a guideline. My childern are a good example, they’re 2 years apart and my son is 2 lbs and 4 inches shorter than his sister. At 15 months my daughter was barely 21 lbs, where my son is 25.5 lbs. My neice who’s 17 months weights about 24 lbs and is the same height as my son. And I have a nephew who just turned 5, who is maybe 2 inches taller than my 3 year old daughter and maybe 3 lbs more than her. So if you went by age you could end up with children moved to differnt size carseat before they’re ready.

  52. by Cheryl

    On March 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Anything I can do to keep my precious gift from God safe, I will do! Thank you.

  53. by Karen

    On March 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    My daughter is now 2 and a half and she was rear facing up to about a few months ago. She is very tall (now 40″). I think it is total b.s. that some moms are saying that their kid is to small or that they are “bunched up”. I also think it is total b.s. that the car seats are “to expensive”. We just purchased a second car seat that rear facing up to a certain height adjustment and it was (with $5 off from website & 20% off from Burlington Coat Factory) only $55. I think lazy parents like to make excuses rather than do what should be done.

  54. by Niki Slowikowski

    On March 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Being the mother of a 5’2″ 9year old and a 2′ 18mo old, I have had conflicts over this issue. I also believe there should be a law not a recommendation and the laws should be based on height &weight alone, not age! My youngest is currently forward facing because his legs are so long I fear rear facing him in an accident would cause severe leg, possible hip damage.

  55. by niki S

    On March 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Also I’d like 2c all u moms support eachother, not attack 1another 4what they believe or were told was right! We all have our own ways of doin things and it would make the world such a sweeter place if we could all respect, not necessarily agree w/, eachothers opinions! We r all part of 1club, moms, let’s try n ban 2gether!

  56. by RD

    On March 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I think this whole rear-facing issue is another one that is blown out of proporation and to me, not well researched. I have to think about this in terms of physics. I know with my driving that I know what is going on in front of me and can control what my vehicle does for the most part. So I would be more worried about getting rear ended than running into someone else. If you get rear ended, with a child in a RF car seat, which way is their head going to be jarred? To the REAR! So it would be better to be front facing so that their head goes into the back of the car seat. I’m just saying!

  57. by Jackie Brown

    On March 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I appreciate the concern of safety of children. If I put my daughter back to rear facing she will not be a happy camper. And further more she will not be comfortable. She is a little taller than most 19 month olds and her feet would be propped up on the back of the seat because her feet will have no where to hang.

  58. by Diane R

    On March 23, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    For the ones talking about being rear ended…in a rear end crash the cars are going the same direction therefore there is less force thrusting the child’s head in any direction. And 72% of all crashes are front impact; 24% are side impact and **ONLY FOUR PERCENT** are rear impact. Do you really want to risk 96%??
    And for those talking about comfort being the same as safety, I honestly just don’t get that. It’s not the same. I for one want to know that if we are ever in a crash that I did EVERYTHING I know to do to prevent injury or death to my loved ones!!

  59. by Staci

    On March 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    This is absolutely the most absurd thing I’ve heard in quite some time. Most children at 12 months have legs that are far too long to remain safely in a rear facing seat. Besides, how are the results of injuries in accidents documented differently when a child was in a carseat as opposed to not secured at all.

  60. by Rebecca

    On March 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Isn’t it interesting that they don’t care about kids wearing even seatbelts on school buses, never mind booster seats. And yet, when it comes to the average consumer, they would like for them to have to purchase more carseats. These new recomendations have absolutely nothing to do with safety and everything to do with money. As for guidelines being based on reliable research and “testing, testing, testing” as one comment stated… Bull. As a physician, I can tell you that most of the guidelines are at best loosely based on mediocre studies and “expert” opinion (i.e. someone that sits on some expert opinion panel because they schmooze well and know the right people). I for one, would like to see the studies that the panelists based their guidelines on. And of course, who funded them (studies and panelists both).

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